Approaching Late Antiquity: The Transformation from Early to Late Empire

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What factors already present in the society of the High Roman Empire developed and expanded into the world of Late Antiquity? What was distinct in this period from what went before? The answers to these complex and fascinating questions embrace the fields of cultural history, politics, ideas, art, philosophy, pagan religion, Christian church, Greek and Latin literature, the army, the law, the provinces, settlement, and the economy. Approaching Late Antiquity is an illustrated collection of fifteen original essays on the later Roman world written by a galaxy of internationally known scholars. Each study focuses on the two centuries from AD 200 to 400; but subjects are taken according to their own organic development, and authors range later or earlier as they need. The result is a thoroughly readable account of the key themes and topics. The book challenges orthodoxies (for example, Honore on law, Whitby on military life, Edwards on monotheism), gives comprehensive coverage (Duncan-Jones on economy, Cameron on poetry, Elsner on art), and discusses the general issues and problems through major examples (McLynn on emperors in church, Papi on Italian towns, Adams on governing Egypt, Swain on Libanius, Garnsey on citizens, Dillon on philosophers, Walker on mummy portraits). The authors have set their contributions in the light of current approaches and bibliography, and the volume will be a useful reference work in its own right.